Barry Ritholtz writing at has another piece in his Apprenticed Investor series. This time Barry takes to task the financial media for their focus on stock picking to the detriment of the important processes of portfolio management.

…(S)tock selection is far less important to performance than a host of other factors. The overemphasis on stock-picking permeates the financial media. It’s easy to see why. It has a good story line, an inherent dramatic conflict. It lends itself to the horse-race-type coverage that’s so easily done. Plus, it’s easy for readers to comprehend: Buy this, don’t buy that. You can understand why the media and investors overemphasize it.

But the fact remains that regardless of the importance put on stock selection, most investors have underperformed the market, despite, I may add, recently going through the greatest bull market in history. That should raise serious questions to those whose sole emphasis is stock selection.

This is prompted in part by the media attention on the Joel Greenblatt book, “The Little Book That Beats the Marketâ€?. You can read our take on a this book and what it means for investors trying to create their own personal investment process.

This piece provides a useful counterpoint to the cacophony of voices telling you to buy this stock or the other. Take a look.